The Rise and Fall of Lynyrd Skynyrd… And Everything In Between

Lynyrd Skynyrd is an American staple in music and southern rock culture. You’ve heard their hits, like “Free Bird” and “Simple Man” and, of course, “Sweet Home Alabama.” Or maybe even their lesser-known songs, like “The Needle And The Spoon” and ” T’ Is For Texas.” The band’s southern sound quickly moved them to the top of the charts and into the hearts of many. But the sad part about this band’s story is that the party ended way too soon. And not because they had a fight in the studio.

Lynyrd Skynyrd band


On October 20, 1977, they boarded a flight bound for Louisiana that crashed in Gillsberg, Mississippi, and took the lives of band members Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, Cassie Gaines, assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, the pilot Walter McCreary, and the co-pilot William Gray. That alone is tragic, but the effect the crash had on the surviving members of the band had lasting effects and ended up bringing them to their own demise. This is their story…